Michael Chance

Biography

Born: March 7, 1955; Penn, Buckinghamshire  
Michael Chance is a leading British countertenor, in worldwide demand for male alto parts in opera, and as a recital, concert, and recording artist. He was a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge -- an adult-voice singer at the famous Choir of King's College Cambridge, receiving a full scholarship for singing daily services in the College Chapel during the school term. His major subject at Cambridge was English, but he received thorough Read more musical and vocal training as a matter of course as a choral scholar.

After graduation, he studied voice with Rupert Bruce Lockhart. His operatic debut was in the Buxton festival, where he sang the part of Apollo in Ronald Eyre's production of Cavalli's Giasone in 1983. He was a member of Kent Opera for three seasons. In 1985, his European debut was in Lyon, as Andronico in Handel's Tamerlano (1985).

He rapidly established a strong reputation. He is one of the newer sort of countertenor, whose vocal production is well supported and natural-sounding. As the bulk of the countertenor repertory is in Baroque opera, he has sung Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Ottone in Handel's Agrippina and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, and as Orpheus in both the Gluck and Monteverdi operas.

However, he is equally admired for his performances in newer operas featuring countertenors, and his roles in twentieth century opera include Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Voice of Apollo in the same composer's Death in Venice, the Military Governor in Judith Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera, and in Harrison Birtwistle's The Second Mrs. Kong. The latter two parts were written for him, for he is active in promoting new works. Composers he has worked with include Alexander Goehr, Richard Rodney Bennett, John Tavener, Anthony Powers, Tan Dun, and Elvis Costello.

He has sung at major opera houses such as the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, La Scala of Milan, at Covent Garden in London, and in opera houses in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Sydney.

Chance has made over 50 recordings, including the Grammy Award-winning release of Handel's Semele with John Nelson conducting. Other recordings include Mozart's Ascanio in Alba, Goehr's The Death of Moses, and Rolf's Carmina burana as well as the major oratorios and choral works of Handel and Bach. He appears in major festivals, such as the Glyndebourne Summer Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His concert appearances have taken him to major cities of Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, Japan, and Australia.

As a chamber recitalist he often works with the Baroque viol ensemble Fretwork and with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert. He teaches at the Royal College of Music as a Visiting Professor. Read less
Weir: Night At The Chinese Opera / Parrott, Chance, Et Al
Release Date: 01/23/2001   Label: Nmc  
Catalog: 60   Number of Discs: 2
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Britten: Death In Venice / Hickox, Chance, Langridge
Release Date: 03/22/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10280   Number of Discs: 2
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Monteverdi: L'incoronazione Di Poppea / Rousset, Grant Murphy, Chance
Release Date: 11/18/2008   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 925   Number of Discs: 2
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Monteverdi: L'orfeo / Ainsley, Balleys, Stubbs, Chance
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 6007   Number of Discs: 2
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Cavalli: Giasone / Jacobs, Chance, Banditelli, Dubosc
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 921282   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 51-75 of 130 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Handel: L'Allegro il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet Music / Gardiner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 469620 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Maldwyn Davies,  Jennifer Smith,  Martyn Hill,  Patrizia Kwella  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    On sale! $39.98
    CD: $36.99
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  • 52.
    Handel: Semele, Israel In Egypt, Zadok The Priest, La Resurrezione / Gardiner, Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 469611 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Klaus Mertens,  Guy de Mey,  Nancy Argenta,  Guillemette Laurens  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Monteverdi Choir,  Monteverdi Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 53.
    A Song More Silent - McDowall, Plowman, O'Regan, Beamish
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2147 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cecilia McDowall,  Lynne Plowman,  Tarik O'Regan,  Sally Beamish
    Performer:  Sophie Bevan,  Alexandra Stevenson,  Sebastian Comberti,  Carolyn Dobbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolae Moldoveanu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players,  Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir
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  • 54.
    Monteverdi: L'incoronazione Di Poppea / Rousset, Grant Murphy, Chance
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 925 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Heidi Grant Murphy,  Michael Chance,  Claron McFadden,  Cynthia Haymon  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques
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  • 55.
    Monteverdi: L'orfeo / Stubbs, Ainsley, Netherlands Opera
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 929 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  John Mark Ainsley,  Juanita Lascarro,  David Cordier  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tragicomedia,  Concerto Palatino
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  • 56.
    Countertenors - James Bowman, Michael Chance, Andreas Scholl
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4391 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Henry Purcell,  John Blow,  Thomas Campion  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  David Miller,  James Bowman,  Andreas Scholl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Sonnerie,  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 57.
    Bach: Early Cantatas Vol 3 - Weimar 2 / Kirkby, Chance, Daniels
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 752 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Benedict Hoffnung,  Anthony Robson,  Emma Kirkby,  Charles Daniels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
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  • 58.
    Handel: Dixit Dominus, Laudate Pueri Dominum / Cleobury
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421294 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  William Kendall,  Henry Herford,  Isobel Buchanan,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Nicholas Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 59.
    Handel: Tamerlano / Gardiner, Argenta, Findlay, Ragin, Et Al
    Label: Erato Libretto   Catalog: 45408 Release Date: 05/15/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  René Schirrer,  Michael Chance,  Jane Findlay  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 60.
    Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Neary, Westminster Abbey
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62615 Release Date: 03/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Ian Bostridge,  Martin Baker,  Simon Birchall  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
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  • 61.
    Howells: Requiem, Etc;  Vaughan Williams: Mass In G / Best
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55220 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Herbert Howells
    Performer:  Thomas Trotter,  Jonathan Best,  Philip Salmon,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Corydon Singers
    Recommendation
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  • 62.
    The Hilliard Ensemble - Highlights From Their Catalogue
    Label: Emi Laser Series   Catalog: 67118 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ockeghem,  William Byrd,  Richard Strauss,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John Potter,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Mark Padmore,  David James  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble,  Hanover Boys' Choir Members
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 63.
    De Wert: Seventh Book Of Madrigals / Rooley, Consort Of Musicke
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 90763 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giaches de Wert
    Performer:  Andrew King,  Evelyn Tubb,  Michael Chance,  Mary Nichols  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke
    Recommendation
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  • 64.
    Handel: L'allegro, Il Penseroso Ed Il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet Music / Gardiner
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4698383 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Michael Ginn,  Maldwyn Davies,  Patrizia Kwella,  Martyn Hill  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $29.99
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  • 65.
    Handel: Water Music, Concerti Grossi Op. 3, Israel In Egypt, Semele / Gardiner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4698385 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robert Lloyd,  Della Jones,  Patrizia Kwella,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Monteverdi Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 66.
    Britten: A Boy Was Born, Wedding Anthem, Etc / Best, Corydon
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55307 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Mary Seers,  Thomas Trotter,  Janet Coxwell,  Philip Salmon  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir,  Corydon Singers
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  • 67.
    Bach: Weimar Cantatas Vol 2 / Kirkby, Purcell Quartet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 742 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Charles Daniels,  Michael Chance,  Emma Kirkby,  Peter Harvey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 68.
    Bach: Johannes Passion / Cleobury, Richardson, Et Al
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93209 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stephen Richardson,  Catherine Bott,  Michael Chance,  Paul Agnew  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir
    Recommendation
    CD: $11.99
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  • 69.
    Odes To Saint Cecilia - Draghi, Blow / Holman, Et Al
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55257 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Draghi,  John Blow
    Performer:  Robin Blaze,  Joseph Cornwell,  Suzie LeBlanc,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Holman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Parley of Instruments Choir,  Playford Consort
    CD: $13.99
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  • 70.
    Handel: Agrippina / Gardiner, Jones, Miles, Ragin, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000829302 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Della Jones,  Derek Lee Ragin,  Michael Chance,  Julian Clarkson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    Recommendation
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  • 71.
    Monteverdi Cycle - Poppea, Ulisse, L'Orfeo
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 972 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Harry Van der Kamp,  Michael Chance,  Cynthia Haymon,  Brigitte Balleys  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset,  Glen Wilson,  David Porcelijn,  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Opera Baroque Orchestra,  Les Talens Lyriques,  Netherlands Opera Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $128.99
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  • 72.
    Britten: Five Canticles, Purcell Realisations / Rolfe-johnson
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55244 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Roger Vignoles,  Michael Chance,  Michael Thompson  ... 
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  • 73.
    Handel: Saul / Budday, Chance, Argenta, Et Al
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 83 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Michael Berner,  Stephen Varcoe,  Nancy Argenta,  Laurie Reviol  ... 
    Conductor:  Jürgen Budday
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Hofkapelle,  Maulbronn Chamber Choir
    CD: $34.99
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  • 74.
    Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, Et Al / Waschinski, Chance, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557447 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Jörg Waschinski
    Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 75.
    Edition Monastery Maulbronn - Handel: Solomon / Chance
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 73 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Laurie Reviol,  Steffen Balbach,  Michael Chance,  Julian Podger  ... 
    Conductor:  Jürgen Budday
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maulbronn Chamber Choir,  Hannover Hofkapelle
    CD: $34.99
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